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Get the Buzz on Twitscoop

Twitscoop LogoI often come across times when I want some real-time insight on a topic that’s garnering tremendous interest.  The recent volatility of the stock market certainly has created widespread concern.  Today is no different as the global stock markets are reacting negatively to the proposed bailout legislation (I could link an AP news article here, but I’m afraid the context will be obsolete tomorrow!).

But what specifically are people talking about?

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Meet Bill at the NAPFA Technology Conference

NAPFA TechFrequent readers of FPPad.com know that I try my best to keep up with new tools and technologies that can improve the service and efficiency of a financial planning firm.  I’ll be attending the upcoming NAPFA Practice Management and Technology Conference in October to do just that.

The conference will be held on October 22-24, 2008 at Bally’s Las Vegas.

A few weeks ago I received an email that NAPFA reduced the conference registration fee to $199.  Also, first time NAPFA conference attendees and the second and subsequent employees from the same firm are all invited to come for $99.

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Look Under the Hood of ByAllAccounts

Hot Rod

In February 2008, I adopted the use of the ByAllAccounts WebPortfolio and Custodial Integrator data aggregation service.  I blogged a little bit about it here and here, and am working on a more comprehensive review of the service addressing how I’ve successfully integrated it into our operations process.

But until then, I wanted to point out an invitation from the folks at ByAllAccounts to take a “look under hood” of the service.

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Technology Reports Aplenty

techIn the last month or two, I have received a number of new reports that focus on operations and technology in the financial adviser space.  These reports do a fair job of identifying some of the trends of technology used in a wide variety of firms and some of the reasons why advisers have been slow to roll out new technology.

The first report is the 2008 FPA Practitioner Technology Report – Leveraging Technology Solutions.  This report uses results from an online survey taken by 291 random FPA members in February 2008.  Respondents consisted of the following categories:

  • Independent RIAs (35 percent)
  • Independents affiliated with a broker-dealer and IAR-dually registered (21 percent)
  • Independents affiliated with a broker-dealer (20 percent).

The majority of participants (72 percent) reported revenue of $1 million or less.

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Reinvent Your Presentation Style

Death by slidesPart of what I have been working on over the last week is a presentation I’m going to deliver in July to a group of specialty physicians.  Since I consider myself technologically savvy and a creative user of presentation software (ok, yes, I still use PowerPoint due to my history with it), I’ve looked for resources on how to design and deliver effective presentations.

Most of us are very familiar with the common characteristics that plague most one hour presentations.  There’s a title slide, introduction, an outline overview, all followed by a gratuitous spray of bullet points, hard-to-read graphs, and concluded with yet more bullet points.  Thank you, the end!

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Engage Distant Clients with Cisco TelePresence

CamIncreased Internet bandwidth, webcams, and conference technology has definitely impacted an adviser’s ability to engage clients that may be located in another state, country, or even continent.  Cisco has taken video conferencing technology even further with its introduction of On-Stage TelePresence

I watched a seamless presentation of this technology here.

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Boarding the Twitter Bandwagon

TwitterA few days ago I encountered an article on TechRepublic by Jason Hiner.  He mused as to whether or not Twitter is the most important web development of 2008.

Jason’s article incited a flurry of comments as to the relevance of such a simple application, but there doesn’t appear to be an overwhelming consensus arguing a particular side.  On the one hand, Twitter provides a super-quick way to post updates on current user activities.  On the other, Twitter provides an outlet for updates on any topic, from business activities to what’s cooking for dinner.  Personally, I’m not captivated by knowing what’s on my friends’ culinary menu.

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Adviser Technology in 10 Years

crystal ballDavis Janowski from Investment News posted a thought-provoking question on LinkedIn.com this week.  He asked:

Looking into your crystal ball what do you see as the technology needs, trends, challenges, and milestones that lay ahead for financial advisers and the industry at large over the coming decade?

Click here to see the variety of answers given so far, including mine regarding the advent of mass collaboration and wikis.

What technology-related issues do you think advisers face in the future?  Share your comments below or over at LinkedIn.

Mint.com Adds Investment Tracking

Mint!Lifehacker.com recently announced Mint.com has added investment tracking to its list of features.  A highly requested and attractive feature, investment tracking should dramatically increase this service provider’s already rapid adoption in the market.

Mint.com is a free online personal finance management application that users can configure to track expenses by aggregating transactions from checking, savings, and credit card accounts.  Now that investment accounts have been added, Mint.com is getting closer to a complete personal finance product to compete with the likes of computer-based (as opposed to web-based) Quicken and Microsoft Money.  Note that Quicken does have an ASP-based product of Quicken Online, free for 30 days, then $2.99/month thereafter.

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Schwab Technology Complex Strengthens Custodian’s Presence

Technology RoomAt the end of April, Charles Schwab and Texas Tech University announced the creation of a Schwab Technology Complex on the University’s campus, and also named Danielle Winchester as the first Schwab Research Scholar.

Click the link to view the Charles Schwab and Texas Tech University press release.

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